Dishwasher Loading 101

Posted by Danny

I may get hammered for this post.  So let me start with a disclaimer.  I really don’t think I’m sexist.  I married a very strong woman – I know when she was alive that she was in charge of me.  She was also in charge at work (even though she wasn’t officially the boss), at church (although she wasn’t always the committee chair), and with her brother and sister. 

I work with strong women who I respect immensely.  And I hope and pray my three daughters will grow up to be independent women – kicking men’s butts when necessary.

All that being said…I don’t think women are capable of loading a dish washer effectively.

I watched as Lisa spread the dishes out so far that a slender person could have walked between them.  I see my mother lay bowls down instead of stacking them closely in the upward position. 

On the rare occasion that a child of mine actually puts something in the dishwasher, it’s tossed in with no strategy.  It’s kind of like they’re tossing a pair of socks in the laundry bin.

And who’s left to empty the dishwasher 17 times each week?  Me!

I hate unloading the dishwasher!  Despise it.  I’d much rather unload it twice a week when it’s really full than 4 times a week when it’s only slightly full.  There has to be some economy of scale there.

My theory is to pack the dishwasher with as many dishes as humanly possible.  If you tactically work to place each dish, you can fit 80 or 90 things in there, excluding the silverware.  I know it can be done, I’ve counted.  And we eat out of the same size dishes as you.

There is a shelf that can be pulled down if you put short dishes underneath it.  There are plenty of places for tall things – but every woman in my life puts anything with height right where the shelf could house four bowls and the lid of a water bottle.  Got the coffee mug you purchased from Disney World?  Don’t put that tall booger underneath the shelf!  Put it in the bottom of the washer.  Just because it looks like the lower level is made for plates, doesn’t mean you can’t put something else down there!  There’s no dishwasher police that’s going to arrest you for placing an item in an unsuspecting place.  Be bold!

The bowls can stack very close together and still come out clean.  But my kids and my mother will spread them out like they’re setting a table. 

Some argue that you should rinse all of the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher.  I disagree.  That theory means you have to rinse 100% of the dishes.  If you just throw them in, 10, maybe 15% come out dirty.  You rinse them after the wash and you’ve come out 85% better than if you’d rinsed them all from the beginning.

I’m a busy man.  I’m all about saving time.  This is but one tactic to simplify life.  If you need more tips, just let me know.

Help Wanted: Sock Wrangler

Suprise, suprise, a sock on DJs floor

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Danny

For two weeks I took pictures of stray socks I found that belonged to various members of our family.  I’ll have to give Jesse credit, I did not find any of his – although I’m not even sure he wears socks so that could be the explanation. 

I have decided to hire a full-time staff member to help wrangle the socks.  This is the ad I’ll be placing in the News and Observer, our local paper, next week. 

Help Wanted:  Sock Wrangler

Under the supervision of the Dad and occasionally the part-time housekeeper and in cooperation with Uncle Jesse, the Sock Wrangler will oversee all hosiery in the Tanner home.  The position requires a baccalaureate undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university in Home Economics, criminology, private I’ing, matchingstuffology, findingstuffology or a related field as well as a minimum of 5 years experience in hunting those little boogers down!  This position requires an understanding of and a commitment to the Tanner Family’s desire to have matching socks seven days per week for each family member.

The position requires that the incumbent be innovative (they could be anywhere!!), diligent in the search and friendly as he/she goes about her work.  He/she must be passionate about finding matches and relentless in the  pursuit of missing apparel.  He/she must be exceedingly organized, be a self-starter and able to work with minimal supervision.  He/she is welcome to yell at family members who leave socks in inappropriate places.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Find socks
  • Find their matches
  • Crawl under stuff, including washers, dryers, sinks, Tupperware cabinets, cars, and the house
  • Fold socks and have an innate ability to determine which ones belong to each child – (because they are all the same size and look identical, but my children have an emotional connection to each pair which means they MUST be returned to the original owner)
  • Make decisions on tossing items that have gigantic holes in them or are stretched out to the point that they could fit Charles Barkley
  • Must know the difference between tights and hose and be able to articulate that difference to all in the house
  • Purchase new socks (never spending over $60)

Must be able to see and distinguish between different colors/styles/patterns or thread count.  Ability to crawl, squat, lift heavy furniture, sift through dust bunnies, stoop, kneel, stand, walk, pull and push a must.  Ability to adapt to change quickly.  Occasional travel (to Target) may be necessary.

The top 10 finds this past week:

Number 1:  The dining room chair – that’s just gross.  At least they weren’t on the table.

 
 
Number 2:  In Uggs of many colors.  And we haven’t worn Uggs for weeks.
 

Number 3:  Under Michelle’s bedroom door. 

Number 4:  Inside out – more work for dad.

Number 5:  On living room furniture – but it’s a matched pair!!!

Number 6:  Bathroom floor – last thing on before the shower?  I bet underwear are close by.

 Number 7:  It’s not just a home thing – even on vacation…sock in DC.

Number 8:  Oh, those are mine.

Number 9:  Isn’t it pretty with the rug?  Maybe she couldn’t see it.

Number 10:  Oh my lord, they’re in a drawer!

Soft Scrub is Your Friend

Posted by Danny

I think Lisa taught me about Soft Scrb, the all purpose kitchen cleanser, not long after we got married.  We purchased a house that was built in the 1950’s and the tubs were nasty.  She tried everything she could find to clean them and the only two things that seemed to make a dent in the dirt were Comet and Soft Scrub.

We have a housekeeper who cleans for us every other week.  I don’t do very much in between her visits.  Stephanie and Michelle brush their teeth in my bathroom most mornings and don’t know how to wash toothpaste spit down the sink.  About day 5 I get grossed out enough to take a damp cloth and wipe their Crest remnants away.  That’s about the extent of the cleaning in this house by those who inhabit these walls.

But today, I sort of got motivated to do some countertop cleaning in the kitchen.  And I have fallen in LOVE with Soft Scrub!!!

We have a glass top stove.  I never much paid it attention to it until I became the official head of this household last year.  Now, I see how disgusting it gets.  Lisa never cooked that much but when she did, she wasn’t a burner.  I apparently like my food well done because I can burn a boiled egg, grilled cheese, mac and cheese, asperagus, toast – you name it, I can burn it.  My cooking theory memics my outlook on life.  Move on with it – no time to slowly warm things.  On my stove there is really no need for a low or medium setting; I don’t have time for that.  If something needs to get hot, and with virtually everything you cook that’s what you’re aiming for, heat it up as quickly as possisble. 

So, every time I cook on the stove, something invariably overflows onto the burner.  And that leaves a nasty, crispy residue.

I’ve tried glass cleaner.  It is a glass top stove, makes sense doesn’t it?  Doesn’t work.  It does not get spilled, burned on spaghetti sauce off of the burner. 

I’ve tried 409 – when I was growing up, that was like household penicillin.  Not anymore.  Sure it’ll get a fingerprint off a door, but it doesn’t stand a chance to a stainless steel pot stain on a fiberglass sink.

But Soft Scrub – ahh.  The cleaner that keeps on cleaning.

Burned on Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup – no problem.

Pizza pan scrapes on your sink – no problem.

BEFORE...

And AFTER.

Red wine on your white countertops – no problem.

BEFORE...

and AFTER.

I once used it to get steak juice off of my kid’s white shirt.  It works! 

I might try whitening my teeth with it.

When you’re running a household unexpectedly by yourself, it’s good to have help.  Jesse is good.  My parents are helpful.  My in-laws rock.  But Soft Scrub is always there for me.  Day or night – bleaching out the stains of my life.

The Great Clothes Migration, 2010

I’ve learned to loath The Great Clothes Migration at our house. 

Twice each year, we go through all of the drawers and closets in our house.  It’s time to move the winter clothes out and the summer clothes in.  DJ’s hand me downs are shipped to Stephanie’s room.  Stephanie’s to Michelle’s.  Michelle’s go into three piles  1) trash 2) really special items we want to keep so that my attic will have a purpose and 3) the give away pile to a very dear friend who has two daughters a little younger than mine.

Yesterday we attacked DJ’s room.  I think I’m going to have to take a week off from work to recover.

DJ is a beautiful young woman who makes very good grades.  She is self confident and a leader.  She was honor camper at resident camp last summer.  She’s just an outstanding all around kid – I am so proud of her.  And, she’s a slob.

After about 30 minutes in her room, I considered calling Caterpiller to see if I could rent a Backhoe.  I discovered:

*15 unmatched socks throughout her room – four of them in her bathing suit drawer

*Enough fingernail polish to paint the nails of every 13 year old in South  America

*Single Benedryl tablets from the bathroom to the closet  and everywhere in between

*Femine products galore!

*A cup from the kitchen

and to top it off,

*Two of my good spoons under her bathroom sink!!

Is she eating cereal on the toilet?  Why would you have spoons under your bathroom sink?

The pile of clothes that don’t fit any longer mirror the local landfill – they just don’t smell as bad. 

She just drops paper – I think she has a neurological issue that keeps her from being able to throw things in a trash can. 

I’m about to take a nap to build up enough grit to tackle Stephanie’s room next weekend.  I’ve given her the seven day warning – we all need to get mentally and physcially prepared. 

I’d rather have three teeth extracted than to spearhead The Great Clothes Migration of 2010.

By the way, we’re missing one bear slipper. 

If you find one, please return it to me.  How do you lose an item this big?

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